Sunday, October 30, 2011

Middle Class

At one point, the phrase 'how the other half live' was accurate. More than half of Americans were making much better than a living wage, and could afford certain luxuries, like weekends, and retirements.

I came across a graphic in the New York Times, and the whole system was spelled out before me in statistics. There are so many in the country who are wondering what happened that led us to the Occupy movement, and at the core of their disbelief and arrogance is a myth that everything was chugging along nicely until the housing market crashed.

They fail to look at WHY the market crashed. In its simplest terms, people were borrowing money that they didn't have and couldn't ever pay back. Most would then shrug their shoulders, and blame deadbeat Americans for trying to hoodwink a system, or better yet, to blame the banks for lending money they knew their clients couldn't pay back. I don't lay blame, because there are so many people involved, that it is an entire system at fault. People acting in their best interests spiralled out of control. The system is broken, and it is always, throughout history, the government's job to fix it. Banks will not regulate themselves. People will not stop borrowing if it is convenient, and companies will not pay living wages unless forced.

So where does the problem really lie? Cash flow. The American people are no longer making a living wage.  I couldn't illustrate that last point better than the New York Times (you'll have to click it, then click 'show original' in the bottom left, then zoom in):

And I've been asked why I work for a labour Union? Because organizing workers is the only chance we have of getting the middle class back.

Fingers crossed, I wait to see what's going to happen.

My wife, Jennifer's, blog can be found here:
Cleverly Disguised as Cake

And my first novel, squeakyclean, here:
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